Tag Archive: cats


art from google







The Shade of the Baobab …





The wandering soul rests,


under a Baobab tree that offers sanctuary,


as the South African sun,


burns copper red.




The wanderer gives thanks to the ancestors,


a moment of respite from the unending journey,


sifting through the dust,


divining the road ahead,


a time to reflect,


on miles lost through the sieve of time,


on paths that have yet to be tread …



art from google

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tribute to my mother

reunion after 27 years






for my mother, Zubeida Moolla 1934 – 2008.

(dedicated to exiles, refugees, and the brave South Africans who struggled against Apartheid tyranny within South Africa)




meeting after 27 years




My mother passed away after a lengthy battle with Motor-Neurone Disease, also called ALS.


This poem is also dedicated to all the brave souls who are courageously battling illnesses and terminal diseases, and to the families and those dearest to them who are taking care of their loved ones.

May we always salute them and their families’ courage in the face of indescribably hard circumstances






I remember the tears she shed,

as she longed for her distant abode,

she wept often then, as she pined for her children, Tasneem & Azad,

and felt the future looked bleak, on that dim, lonely road.



I remember the tears she shed,

when that telegram came one afternoon,

‘regret to inform you stop father passed away stop’,

She wept often after that, for their last goodbye had been said too soon.



I remember the tears she shed,

on that glorious day in a February not that long ago,

when the prisoner finally walked out, breathing the free air,

she wept less after that, for then she knew where they were to go.



I remember the tears she shed,

soaring high above the clouds heading back to her land,

those tears came out in soft sobs, but her eyes were smiling,

defiant and full of new hope, as she held tightly on to his wrinkled hand.



I remember the tears she shed,

some years later, on that peaceful late April morning,

when she stood and proudly bore the ink on her aging thumb,

she wept a lot that April evening, knowing that a new day was dawning.



I also remember that on a Thursday not long ago,

as she was slipping away slowly, she seemed not to weep,

after all the miles and places, and after all the tears that she had cried,

I remember that she wept little then, as she drifted off into an eternal sleep.



(for my mother, Zubeida Moolla 1934 – 2008)




my mother and father

meeting comrade Nelson Mandela Johannesburg 2008

my father and comrade Nelson Mandela Johannesburg 1950s

my father with his comrade and friend Nelson Mandela




https://afzalmoolla.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/my-family-a-journey-through-the-years/



with late comrade Winnie Mandela talking about my mum and their friendship

courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Foundation

unashamed love 

unashamed love …



tongue-tied,

you said i was a lush,

intoxicated by you was i,


but instead i lied,

calling you my pineapple crush,


when all along i was afflicted, addicted,


with nowhere left to hide, adrift in the swirling sea of your love, and though,


time flies,

i still feel that rush,

gazing into the ocean of your eyes,


reducing me still,

today,

into an unabashed lush,

so forgive me this scribble,

this ode to you,

and all this unashamed mush …




our love

art from google





She smiled, looking at the sky,


her hair flowing like a meandering stream,


her face the soft petals of many a dream.




She smiled, looking at me,


let’s walk this earth a bit, you and I“,


I was quiet,


nodding as we both looked up,


as candyfloss clouds whispered by.




yes“, I said, “let us walk together“.




We walk hand in hand  still,


sharing a companionship that blossomed long ago,


by sharing the peace, the freedom, the bonds of love,


blanketing us like a shawl, from the heavens above.


My loveliness



quote from google



My loveliness waits,

through decades of lost haste,

through trials and grief,

peaceful days and dire straits,

my loveliness waits.


I wait,

through decades past,

for kisses meant to last,

i wait,

to hold my loveliness,

in these lonesome arms,

i wait,

transcending lust,

overcoming desire,

i wait,


to be burnt to ash,

in the furnace of her raging fire …


art from google


passion




art from google







 … missing

      the taste,

               

          lips

     brushing

          lips,


scribbling odes,


       fingertips

        drizzling

        scribbles,

                

on bare skin:


my muse,

                you,


           eternally

               you,


         my muse,

             

         a constant,


       inescapably

            hewn,


             into

        the fabric

       of my soul,


        evergreen,


       entwined as one …

 


          
 

quote from google



Love, Mania, and Verse




Love, Mania, and Verse …




The pendulum swings,

while the mania in my head,

strips me bare and yanks me,

into the cauldron of love.


Once again,

never divining the tea leaves,

knowing, always knowing,

the gnawing knots of unease,

that curl into a fist.


My isolation is a shield,

a suit of armour,

tightly clad around my self,

once worn,

then discarded,

taking its place on my barren shelf.


Love, mania, and verse,

coalesce, beseeching me,

with timeous forewarning,

not to tread into the quicksand,

that slippery bog of promise.


Yet,


in times past,

in moments present,

tis’ that very promise,

that I cling to.

At times I lose myself in the crowd,

revelling in the solitude found there,

at times I claw my way back to the now,

aching for the pain that stings,

the buried voice that sings,

dirges to forgotten emotions,

scribbled verse that flings,

the toys out of my cot,

while I wait,

for the mania to stop,


knowing,


always knowing,

that it shall be,

merely a matter of time,

before the other shoe,

must, as always, 

drop.







the years and our love …






years disappear, wisps of time consume moments,

even as tears streak down in the rain,

yet these true emotions remain,

in tune,


our heartbeats in symphonic harmony,

rises forever more,

a crescendo impossible to contain,


for our love like interwoven melodies,

soars,



eternally sharing a common refrain …




photograph from google




the girl with the beret at the bus stop …





I saw her at the bus stop, on a bitterly cold winter morning, her beret tilted to the side.


We exchanged polite smiles and furtive glances, till along came our ride.


We sat across each other and soon we spoke, breaking the ice, with talk of the chills battering our bones, as we shared sandwiches, for each other just a slice.


We spoke of the coldness around us, the frigid souls we encountered, we spoke of life’s pathways and where we hoped we were headed, as we confessed, what we feared most, was the banality of a life we so fiercely dreaded.


Thus began our short morning ritual, a bus ride with a stranger, not knowing anything except our names, our conversations so true they scorched like roaring flames.


We often laughed about the funny stuff we experienced, about the weight we felt we had to carry, the seemingly heavy burdens wracking us, all these chats, drowned out at times, to the soundtrack of the squealing brakes of our bus.


Our talks were blisteringly true, as happens at times with strangers, yet we opened ourselves up to each other, trusting the depths in our eyes, feeling a kinship, that logic defies.


We spoke of earning a wage, paying the bills, discarding the frills, we spent what felt like hours in those short-haul trips, baring our truths honest and deep, feeling for once, the harsh shadows of daily life retreat.


She was to me the girl with the beret, fierce yet gentle, knowing so much and still wanting to know, as was I on those mornings so long ago.


We spoke of lovers lost, of lost loves, of our ache for something tangible, something less gaudy, something more true, a mirage always just out of view.


I showed her my scars, she showed me hers, a lifetime of half-promises built on mounds of dust, we spoke of escape, into each others dreamscapes, even as all around us our world was covered in rust.


There was nothing about us but truth, nothing but a truth distilled, an understanding that someone out there in this cold world understood, far from the slicing of all the threatening grudges, we knew, our sharing was beyond all that, as we often in complete silence sat.


Our conversations churned into the butter of each morning, easing the coming day, and we smiled knowing that one else knew us, no one could ever relate, even as we were innocently oblivious of the often cruel hands of fate.


Her eyes danced with a fire, when sharing her insanity, and she said my eyes raged as well, embracing the craziness of it all, the two of us ever mindful, of the ache that did in each other dwell.


Then came that fateful day when she was there no more, and I felt the icy chills deep in my bare bones, feeling a vacuum I did not know my life could ever fill, a random friendship so tightly bound, that decades would pass till a friendship as profound as that was found.


I often thought of her, at another bus-stop, her beret tilted just slight, waiting for her ride in the morning air, feeling that we somehow remained connected, heart to heart, in a way impossible to articulate, for it was us, just us, with whom we felt we could only ever relate.


I think of her often, my friend on the bus all those years ago, sharing parts of our life, profound and without judgemental fears, through moments of agony, and through the smiles and the tears.


I must confess that to this day, whenever I pass a bus stop, I glance at it even as I know,


I shall not see that girl in the beret,

from so many years and lives ago …




( inspired by “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen’s “Bobby Jean” from the album ‘Born in the USA)


(also inspired by “Raspberry Beret” by Prince)



photograph from google

l o v e





art from google


L   O   V   E  . . .



Your breath reaches me, banishing the gulf between you and I,


across the oceans, so near we could be together in the blink of an eye.



Your fragrance swirls its way to me, across the distance between you and I,


thousands of miles traversed, sharing our own carpetted sky.



Your gentle caresses stroke my emotions, sweeping away the minutes that separate you and I,


our hearts meeting, beating in rhythm, in tune with the solitary nightingale, who for its mate does solemnly cry.



My entire being reaches out to envelope you, in this wondrous cocoon of love, shared by you and I,


breaking the barriers that stone walls can never contain, however daunting, however high.  



art from google



The Light Shines …


A beacon for revolutionary and real change,

a torch dispelling the narrowness of prejudice.


The light shines.

A permanent flame in the quest for universal human dignity,

an eternal sentinel against the comforts of embraced apathy,

The light shines, brightly,

today.


The light shall shine,

in your heart and mine.


The light shall shine,

tomorrow, and for all time …









with President Nelson Mandela, Johannesburg 2008 – from right: my father, President Nelson Mandela, myself

my father with Nelson Mandela – Johannesburg 1950s



https://afzalmoolla.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/my-family-a-journey-through-the-years/



Apartheid South Africa

Apartheid South Africa




Nelson Mandela Centenary

(1918 – 2018)



Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.


A man of action forged in the crucible of resistance.


Resistance against racial discrimination.


Resistance against injustice.


Resistance against oppression.




Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.


A man burnished in the furnace of struggle.


Struggle to defeat the crime against humanity that was Apartheid.


Struggle against the obscene notions of racial superiority.


Struggle against the scourge of hate.




Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.


A human being who personified kindness.


A human being who embodied humility.


A human being who exemplified the unity of our human race.




Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.


A man of peace, and a man who fought the just fight.


A man of forgiveness, and a man who battled the Apartheid regime for the need of taking responsibility for the heinous crimes of the past.


A man of truth, and a man of humane love.




Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.


He was of flesh and of blood, and he shed his blood as he endured the lashes of the whip on his flesh.


He was of flesh and of blood, and he fought ferociously against the suppression of his fellow human beings.


He was of flesh and of blood, and he emerged with dignity from the hell of twenty-seven years of imprisonment on an island of tyranny.




Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.


He was a man of a steely will in the long cause to rid all oppressed people from the yoke of colonialism, he picked up arms and fought the honourable fight.


He was a man of fiery resolve against the scourge of divisiveness, he was at the forefront in the battles against human subjugation and indignity.




Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.


Madiba was a revolutionary, in the trenches against the obscenity of poverty and deprivation.


Madiba was a soldier, on the ground in the service of the most vulnerable, the children of this world.


Madiba was unshakeable, and he lived the example of the committed revolutionary and the dignified statesman.




Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.




Our beloved Madiba does not walk amongst us anymore.


And yet, Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela lives within us.


Madiba lives in the streams that flow into the rivers that flow into the oceans.


Madiba lives in the winds that blow across the vast lands of Africa and beyond.


Madiba lives in the thud-thudding of heartbeats around our world.


Madiba lives in the veins where the blood flows through our common human form.


Madiba lives!


Madiba will always live!







The African Rains …




Soaking,

the rains settle,

meandering over jagged faultlines of our memory.




Drenching,

the rains settle,

streaming through veins,


the thud-thudding of the heartbeat of Africa.




Absorbing,

the rains that settle,

within each of us,


herald rebirth.




And,

if you listen,


if you strain to hear,


while shedding the raucous noise of your inner turmoil.


If you listen,


the whispers of the ancestors,


speak to us all,

lending us warmth,


urging us to stand,

even though we may stumble,


even though we may fall.






live life now


‘Billie Holiday’ by Banksy




live life now …


clutching, grasping,

holding onto,


gulping down, hungrily,

each breath, every breath,


fearing the onset of the years,

the splinters of time 


embedding, 

piercing,


this moment, the very now,


numbed by repetition,

embalmed by trepidation,


of tomorrows yet to dawn,


suspiciously sifting through the strands of greying hair,


seeking clues,

the because to the whys,


the slow mornings,

restless nights,


jabbing reminders,

as years, decades,


scurry, scamper,

flee,

feeling it all slipping away,


standing, immobile,

stilled by the implacable sentinels at the doorstep,


these immovable sentries,

concealing the door,


that leads to today …



art from google



your love …

art from google



you swirled into my life like the scent of the parched earth after a few drops of rain …


you filled my heart with the nectar of your love and you drowned away all my pain …


you swirl and fill me each day with the caressing melodies of your love’s refrain …


you have made me yours with my heart in the palm of your hand …


to feel truly loved ..


again and again … and again


 

art from google

84 … for our father


http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/national-orders/recipient/moosa-mosie-moolla



84 …



(for our father and grandfather and comrade Mosie Moolla who turned 84 years old this June 12)


Mosie Moolla with Nelson Mandela in the 1950s



84 …


The number says so much, the years of sacrifice and struggle that can never truly be left behind,


the stark years of revolution when you and the countless footsoldiers shared the tightest bonds of comradeship,


the dedication to the cause of freedom against the savage cruelty that was the crime against humanity – Apartheid,


the 27 years in exile, separated from your two children, your family, your home,


holding the hand of our mother who stood by your side, torn apart from her children, her family, her home.




84 …


the number says so much, more than half a century ago, forging relationships in the cauldron of resistance,


your brothers and your comrades –


Nelson Mandela,

Oliver Tambo,

Walter Sisulu,

Moses Kotane,

JB Marks,

Joe Slovo,

Nana Sita,

Bram Fischer,

Ahmed Kathrada,

Alfred Nzo,

Yusuf Dadoo,


and so many more,

in whose hearts and spirit the fires of the just fight roared on, never to be dimmed.




84 …


the number says so much, of our mother and of your shared sacrifice, of not knowing the joys of seeing your daughter Tasneem and your son Azad grow, the pain of being ripped away from your families, your homes, your motherland,


to travel to distant countries to keep the fight alive on the outside, building solidarity in the world to isolate Apartheid South Africa,


to fan the embers into the flames of international pressure against Apartheid South Africa.




84 …


the number says so much, returning home when your comrades Nelson Mandela and so many other giants were released from Apartheids’ prisons,


to work in mobilising the tasks for the  groundwork to build a new, free, non-racial, non-sexist democracy for people of all colours, regardless of religion or tribe,


to finally see your comrade Nelson Mandela become the first President of a free South Africa.




84 …


the number says so much, as you still keep the lessons of history alive, as you shake us all to remember and never to forget the comrades who were executed, tortured and killed, who fell on the battlefield, the comrades who did not see the birth of their dream of a free South Africa.




84 …


the number says so much, yet the furnace rages on,


inspiring us and many more,


the furnace will rage on,


in our hearts,


deep in our shared core.







(for our father and grandfather Mosie Moolla who turned 84 years old on this 12th of June)



receiving The Order of Luthuli in Silver from former South African President Jacob Zuma


Johannesburg 2000s


with old comrades 2000s


with comrades 2000s






The Cost of Revolution …



(in memory of the June 16th 1976 student uprising in South Africa)





You hurled rocks, stones,

Molotov Cocktails,

Sling-shots against the brutality of racial oppression.



You fell on the streets of Soweto,

Thokoza,

Kagiso,

Sharpeville,

Tembisa,


and countless more across this nation. 



Tasting the acrid stench of tear-gas,


Feeling the flesh ripped off your bones by their dogs,


Drenched by water-cannons,

Stung by rubber-bullets,

Whipped by sjamboks,

Shot in the head by lead,

Paid for by your country’s gold.



You stood trial for Treason,

Facing the hangman’s noose,


You stood firm, you did not break,

Even though,

You had wives, sons, daughters, lovers, brothers, sisters, and friends to lose.



The revolutionary dream burned bright,

In all your hearts,


Even as the jackboot of Apartheid,


Fractured your bones and tore your families into broken and splintered parts.



You left your brothers,

Sisters,

Sons,

Daughters,

Lovers,

Wives,

Comrades and friends,


Seeking out foreign lands,

With only the ammunition that you held in your hearts, your minds and in your never-wavering hands.



The enemy did not waver either,


Tyranny didn’t cease.



2 AM knocks on doors around this land,

Meant to stifle, to intimidate,


Yet,

You took a stand.



Hungry,

lost far away from home, pining for freedom and your loved ones,


Still,

You stood firm,

You fought on,


“Release Mandela and all Political Prisoners” was your cry,

In capitals in far-off lands,


You feared not the bayonet in the enemy’s hands,


The revolution was burning bright,


Even as the dawn of Freedom was in sight.



Finally on a February day,

They released him and the joy was palpable, nothing stood now in the revolution’s way.


All the while,

The enemy consolidated its power,


Paying off traitors,


Seeding violence,


Orchestrating mayhem to taint the noble cause,


And still you took the tyrant’s rifles and clenched their muzzles in-between your brave jaws.



Never standing down,

Backing away,

Retreating to safe space,

The fire of revolution burned,

Spreading through the plateaus and valleys and townships and cities and villages in this pained land,


And still,


Still,

You held that Kalashnikov in your hand.



And when that day of freedom came,


You felt the stirrings of joy and pain and yes,

Of shame.



You felt the shame of leaving those you left behind,


You tasted again the pain,

Of economic hardships,

Of capitalism and its illusory promise,

Of a revolution left incomplete,


Till,

Every man, woman and child has enough to eat.



A revolution still incomplete,

Where hunger stalks the night,

Where mercy,

And comradely solidarity,

Left last night on a first-class flight.



You stand tall still,

Working as you always have,


Polishing the metal chariots of those you once bled for,


Still feeling the injustice,

Of not having the two cents more,


That deprives you of your daily bread,


And you try hard to remember,


Whether this is the revolution,


For which so many died,


The countless whose names remain unsaid,


The brothers and sister,

mothers and fathers,

Lovers and friends,


the martyred dead.






(dedicated to all South Africans who sacrificed their lives, their families, in pursuit of the revolutionary dream. A dream that remains a dream to many, and a dream that will continue to be dreamed)



all photographs from google



All that Jazz

art from google



?



is it perchance

that moment


tattoed in my mind ?




our shared dance ?


a lifetime ago ?


in jazzy-smoked ol’ johannesburg town 



?


was it perchance

your smile


as gentle as the whispers of my perennial dream …


… your eyes


an ocean into whose smokey waters i yearn to drown


away from this

away from it all


far

far

away from this life


this daily

work-sleep-cage

of vacuumed lies


this

cavernous

prison


of leaden skies




breaking the shackles


casting off the burden


of carrying it all

of shouldering this world


your world


while

feeling at times


like your back is

closing in

against a blank wall.




2.




ah but enough of that talk


that talk of yesteryear



for now


i dream


i dream waking dreams


of that night

in whiskey-glazed

ol’ johannesburg town


of holding on

to that shared dance


is it that moment

that crystallised moment


is it

perchance



?



art from google

apologies to her

art from google



apologies to her who knows …





I walk through this neverending thicket,


thorns jabbing at my side, 


left out in the cold, a shimmering blade,

slicing emotions apart,


as she prepares once more, to depart.

I find her settled in a corner of my manic mind,

shedding yesteryears moulting skin,


beating through the foggy thicket,

my feelings flailing, gnawing, stretching my mania thin.



She leaves, burying herself deep,

in the convoluted recesses of my remaining senses,


having stormed the ramparts,

overrunning my paper thin  defences.



Do tell her that I miss her,

and all the moments we shared,


do please also tell her that I am sorry.


I was cold.

I should have cared.


art from google

love | peace | respect

for Wendy Cope

“Billie Holiday” art by Banksy




For Wendy Cope.



(Inspired by her poems ‘Bloody Men’ and ‘Flowers’)



1.


I may not have brought you flowers.

I know I was always late.


You tolerated my moodiness,

and my ever-increasing weight.


2.


You said men were like buses,

and you had grown weary of waiting,


Of putting up with my quirks and my fusses,

though we barely knew we were dating.


3.


Ah, but we weathered the squalls;

Your patience has always been saintly.


And now that old age palls,

our tiffs are recalled only faintly.


4.


We laugh at youth’s follies and know,

the beauty we had sought unaware;


It’s as wide as a calm river’s flow,

and as timeless as our years of care.





Art from Google





(Inspired by Wendy Cope’s poems ‘Bloody Men’ and ‘Flowers’)



Special thanks to Donald Webb of ‘Bewildering Stories’ for kindly editing this poem.




Art from Google

my recurring dream


my dream,

recurs,


delicious,

boundless, seamless,


one in which i am

allowed to savour,


lingering sensations,

quickening of the pulse,


the infinite pleasure,

of a few murmurs together,


profound,

intimate,

true,


for just as eternities may be lived in an instant,


i too may live a few lifetimes,


in a moment spent with you …




( dedicated to the countless souls who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war against Nazism and Fascism )



photograph from google

photograph from google





D-Day: France, June 6th, 1944.





1.




They were thrashed by the merciless sea.



They were drenched by the savage waters, their uniforms clinging to their shivering bodies.



They were mowed down as they approached the beaches of death.



The beaches of unspeakable horrors.



Gold.

Omaha.

Juno.

Sword.

Utah.



They were brothers and fathers and sons and friends and cousins and nephews and grandchildren and boys and men.




2.




They surged on, facing the metallic death of Nazism and Fascism,


they surged on and were cut into pieces of bloodied flesh and shattered bone,


yet they surged on.



They surged on so that we may live.



They surged on so that we may breathe the air of peace.



They surged on and on,



and on.




3.




Today their bones lie buried, along rows of crosses.


Today they lie beneath this earth.




4.




Today they live.


Tomorrow they shall live.


They who sacrificed their lives for humanity.



They shall live on eternally,


within us all!



photograph from google



( dedicated to the countless souls who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war against Nazism and Fascism )



photograph from google

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